McDonald Falls, British Columbia

McDonald Falls in August 2010

About 2 hours outside of downtown Vancouver, you can find Cascade Falls Regional Park. For mid-August, this park was relatively popular, though it does take some time to get to. The drive is really beautiful, though. If you’re looking for another waterfall that is relatively easy to visit, and yet has far fewer visitors, search for McDonald Falls. It’s only 2 miles or so from Cascade Falls.

After following the directions below, you’ll end up very close to the falls. You will have to hike downhill, and if I recall, there wasn’t an extremely clear, defined path. It was still not that difficult. I think there may have been two separate drops, and one of the drops was partially blocked by trees next to the creek. The other drop was far more visible. The photo next door may look different than what you experience, at least somewhat…I had a 55-200 mm lens that made it far more difficult to photograph the whole falls, and I had no wish to hike back up the hill, get the other lens, and repeat the process over again! It does require some effort!

Directions:

  1. If you’re coming from Transcanadian Highway 1, you’ll want to exit toward Mission onto BC-7.
  2. Drive east of Mission on BC-7 for about 6.5 km to Sylvester Rd.
  3. Turn left on Sylvester Rd. Head 13 km down Sylvester Rd.
  4. After a distance, you’ll see a sign for Cascade Falls. Keep heading down that road a short distance, where Lost Creek Forest Service Road starts. It’s a dirt road, so it’s pretty difficult to miss. McDonald Falls is about 1.3 miles down that road past the bridge over Munro Creek.

Accessibility: 6/10 (moderate)
Height: 80′
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip

Where in the World is McDonald Falls?

“Hidden” Falls, British Columbia

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Hidden Falls in August 2010

While driving to McDonald Falls in British Columbia (which is nearby the more advertised Cascade Falls), I ended up finding a small waterfall that was hidden off of the side of the road.  It’s probably not very obvious unless you’re intentionally looking…and I’m always looking for those smaller waterfalls.

I can’t exactly remember whether the waterfall was off of Sylvester Road or off of Lost Creek Forest Service Road, which branches off of Sylvester Road.  I think it was off the latter, as I remember being able to pull off to the side of the road rather easily.  If you’re headed toward Lost Creek FSR, the waterfall is on  your right.

Directions:

  1. If you’re coming from Transcanadian Highway 1, you’ll want to exit toward Mission onto BC-7.
  2. Drive east of Mission on BC-7 for about 6.5 km to Sylvester Rd.
  3. Turn left on Sylvester Rd. Head 13 km down Sylvester Rd.
  4. After a distance, you’ll see a sign for Cascade Falls.  Keep heading down that road a short distance, where Lost Creek Forest Service Road starts.  It’s a dirt road, so it’s pretty difficult to miss.  McDonald Falls is about 1.3 miles down that road past the bridge over Munro Creek, so if you reach that bridge, you’ve gone too far.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy, if you can find it)
Height: 25′
Length of Hike: not applicable (roadside)

Where in the World is “Hidden” Falls?

Cascade Falls, British Columbia

Cascade Falls (28)

Cascade Falls in August 2010

Cascade Falls is a rather easily accessible waterfall not very far from British Columbia (at least relatively). There are many waterfalls within 100 miles of Vancouver if you head north on BC-99, but there are also waterfalls found if you head east on Transcanadian Highway 1.

The hike to Cascade Falls is very easy, as there is a trail leading to the falls. Once you get there, you might be slightly disappointed. There is a fence blocking further viewing of the falls. This is because the area below the falls seems rather dangerous, especially when people don’t think. I don’t actually mind the fence. I just wish there was a “better” view of the falls. From the viewpoint where the trail ends, there are trees that are blocking getting a good picture. Your best bet would be to walk back along the fencing blocking you and try to find a point where you can get a better view. I had to slip the camera lens through the opening in the fence to get a better view.

Update: Though I haven’t visited, as of 2015, there is now a suspension bridge over the creek that seems to lead to much better views. Check it out!

Directions:

  1. If you’re coming from Transcanadian Highway 1, you’ll want to exit toward Mission onto BC-7.
  2. Drive east of Mission on BC-7 for about 6.5 km to Sylvester Rd.
  3. Turn left on Sylvester Rd. Head 13 km down Sylvester Rd.
  4. You’ll find the road leading to Cascade Falls on your right. Pay attention. There will be a sign, but I can’t remember if it was that obvious.
  5. Head to the end of the road to the parking lot, and then start the short hike to the falls.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 100′
Length of Hike: 0.5 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Cascade Falls?

Flood Falls, British Columbia

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Flood Falls in August 2010

I spent a while trying to find Flood Falls. It is interesting trying to interpret someone else’s directions, especially when you’re not coming from the same direction. I wandered around, and then decided to give up on trying to find the falls. I drove back into Hope and decided to stop at the visitor’s center. (British Columbia does a SPECTACULAR job at promoting tourism. The people at the visitor’s center were amazingly helpful.) I noticed on one of the maps that there was the same Flood Falls I had been searching for.

I decided to follow the directions on the brochure, and low and behold, it worked! I was able to find the trailhead to the falls. From there, it was a very enjoyable hike, even though the temperatures were higher than I expected. It’s mid-August, so the water levels were pretty low. I imagine that the water levels are higher earlier in the season. There still is water, though!!! The falls were secluded, though very easy to access, and it was so enjoyable just to sit there and enjoy the beauty surrounding me. On the way back to the car, though, I did somehow manage to end up on another trail and landed a few hundred feet from the car.

Directions:

  1. I started out in Hope heading west on Flood Hope Road.
  2. After a ways, you will pass over Silver Creek (also goes by another name) and then you’ll go over an overpass above Transcanadian Highway 1. Keep going!
  3. After about 2 miles, you’ll come to a Husky gas station. There is an entrance to the highway just nearby this gas station.
  4. Directly after the gas station, turn left. Head across the 2nd overpass you’ll encounter. Go to the very end of that road.
  5. When you look around, you’ll notice two “roads” that don’t really look like roads. Take the left road, which is more of a road than it appears! It is unnamed.
  6. After a hundred feet or so, you should see the sign for the trailhead leading to the falls on your right.

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 1200′ (only 250′ is really visible)
Length of Hike: 0.6 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Flood Falls?